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A Teensy-Weensy Audiolab 8000S Problem

ESP2009

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Feb 16, 2009
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It's a long story, but not to put too fine a point on it, one of the two Audiolab 8000S amps I sold on eBay last year is back with me. I'm talking of the classic, pre-TAG model here.

The problem? The connections for inputs are actually falling apart - disintegrating - it's as if the plastic molding is suffering the equivalent of metal fatigue. I opened up the unit, having looked at the inputs from the outside, noticing a couple had gaping holes where the red or white plastic should be, and found various pieces rattling round inside, and the others showing varying signs of cracking and/or breaking away. This includes input connections I never even used. Based on my communication with the chap who bought the amp from me, I doubt he has treated it badly during the last 7 months. I genuinely believe the plastic has begun to 'perish' after almost 20yrs.

The question is: is it feasible and, indeed, economical to get replacements for the input pieces (and get them fitted - ouch!?) or are we talking consigning this otherwise perfectly good amp to the skip?

Has anyone else had similar problems? If I found a cheap modern version of the amp, is it possible to use it for spares?

Or do I just give the chap a (limited) refund and cut my losses? Ideas anyone?
 

Mooly

New member
Jun 10, 2011
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A common reason for this problem is the use of switch cleaners/contact cleaners etc. Although they appear to be "plastic safe" they are/were not. The problems appeared slowly weeks/months/years later.

I speak from experience... as a repair tech this problem was massive. Not just on sockets, it was on anything the stuff came into contact with. Whole TV's etc etc were written off due to this problem of plastics softening and disentegrating.

Have a look at all these (5 pages 100+ items) and see if anything looks similar. The sockets are sure to be a generic type but it's finding ecaxt physical replacements that's the problem.

Click the "show results" box on the web page :)

http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/search/browse.jsp?N=411+2005+206691&Ntk=gensearch&Ntt=phono+sockets&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&locale=en_CC&appliedparametrics=true&getResults=true&originalQueryURL=/jsp/search/browse.jsp%3FN%3D411%2B2005%2B206691%26Ntk%3Dgensearch%26Ntt%3Dphono%2Bsockets%26Ntx%3Dmode%2Bmatchallpartial%26No%3D0%26getResults%3Dtrue%26appliedparametrics%3Dtrue%26locale%3Den_CC%26divisionLocale%3Den_CC%26catalogId%3D%26skipManufacturer%3Dfalse%26skipParametricAttributeId%3D%26prevNValues%3D411%2B2005%2B206691
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
451
9
18,895
ESP2009 said:
It's a long story, but not to put too fine a point on it, one of the two Audiolab 8000S amps I sold on eBay last year is back with me. I'm talking of the classic, pre-TAG model here.

The problem? The connections for inputs are actually falling apart - disintegrating - it's as if the plastic molding is suffering the equivalent of metal fatigue. I opened up the unit, having looked at the inputs from the outside, noticing a couple had gaping holes where the red or white plastic should be, and found various pieces rattling round inside, and the others showing varying signs of cracking and/or breaking away. This includes input connections I never even used. Based on my communication with the chap who bought the amp from me, I doubt he has treated it badly during the last 7 months. I genuinely believe the plastic has begun to 'perish' after almost 20yrs.

The question is: is it feasible and, indeed, economical to get replacements for the input pieces (and get them fitted - ouch!?) or are we talking consigning this otherwise perfectly good amp to the skip?

Has anyone else had similar problems? If I found a cheap modern version of the amp, is it possible to use it for spares?

Or do I just give the chap a (limited) refund and cut my losses? Ideas anyone?
This is a really common problem on the Audiolabs, especially the predesessor the 8000A, I have had to replace many input sockets on these in the past. You are correct the plastic becomes brittle and cracks, then all of the inners fall out. I'm struggling to remember what format the connectors are in in the 8000S, I know the 8000A's are in blocks of four with a 14mm center pitch but when looking for replacements double check the pinouts for the L + R match yours. But if you get stuck you could always ping an email to Kevin at the The audiocellar he's a helpful chappie and could advise you or maybe sell you a full set.
 

ESP2009

New member
Feb 16, 2009
177
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Thanks to both for your helpful responses. So it's a known issue and not likely to be anything either I or my erstwhile buyer have done (the contact cleaning has never been an issue to my knowledge :) ).

I'll take a look later at the options you suggest.

Sad, really, that such a nice piece of kit can be let down by this kind of thing - a nasty little legacy lurking.
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
1,176
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I'm struggling to work out why this is your problem? You sold the amp "as seen" 7 MONTHS ago, I doubt any proper dealer selling pre-owned gear would give anyone a warranty longer than about 3 months. It's an unfortunate issue but it's not your issue.
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
451
9
18,895
The_Lhc said:
I'm struggling to work out why this is your problem? You sold the amp "as seen" 7 MONTHS ago, I doubt any proper dealer selling pre-owned gear would give anyone a warranty longer than about 3 months. It's an unfortunate issue but it's not your issue.
I must admit I did think the very same. Its part of the course of buying second hand equipment, you don't get a warranty.
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
1,176
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eggontoast said:
The_Lhc said:
I'm struggling to work out why this is your problem? You sold the amp "as seen" 7 MONTHS ago, I doubt any proper dealer selling pre-owned gear would give anyone a warranty longer than about 3 months. It's an unfortunate issue but it's not your issue.
I must admit I did think the very same. Its part of the course of buying second hand equipment, you don't get a warranty.
I mean, fine, if it wasn't working the day it was delivered to the guy, then sure, get your money back, but SEVEN MONTHS later?
 

ESP2009

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Feb 16, 2009
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Yeah, maybe I'm a bit of a soft touch. I've not promised anything except that I would see if a friend of mine could take a look and maybe fix it. Didn't know what the actual problem was until I opened the box. I certainly wasn't expecting what I found! A couple of loose input connectors was the expectation, not disintegrating plastic components!

I'm trying to be helpful to the chap - he didn't come on strong or anything - just asked the question in hope I might help. He has no comeback on me after this time (so eBay tell me). With a spot of maybe misplaced altruism I just thought I would help a fellow hi-fi enthusiast if I could.

It might not be feasible or economical for me to help, in which case it will cost no more than the return to him.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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Fine, see if you can help but make it clear that any repairs are his to pay and under no circumstances should you be offering any sort of refund.
 

ESP2009

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Feb 16, 2009
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Thanks for the advice - nice to know opinion seems on my side! :) I have just fired off a message pretty much to that effect - I will try to help but have no obligation. I would hope he already appreciates that.

It's certainly made me view buying/selling older kit with greater caution.
 

ESP2009

New member
Feb 16, 2009
177
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Ouch! Kevin says that I am looking at approx £100 for the work (probably excluding P&P) - the spares aren't cheap. I think we will have one disappointed eBayer soon. It's a real shame - it's a really nice amp and otherwise fine.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Firstly I can’t believe what I have read and have joined especially to add comment here.

I disagree with the three of you. Are things sold as seen on Ebay? Do you not entrust the person who is selling to give an honest and thorough account of the item? Since it’s clear that the chap intended to bi-wire this amp your description clearly didn’t state that it was not suitable for this purpose otherwise the chap wouldn’t have bought it – he bought in good faith and I can understand that he contacted you.

If I were the seller in this situation I would feel responsible for not checking the item thoroughly before selling and I would offer a refund – (7 months or 7 days later) you have to take some responsibility here.

Stop tittle tattling – basing your response to this chap on the opinion of a few isn’t very gracious.
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
451
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18,895
She-messenger said:
Firstly I can’t believe what I have read and have joined especially to add comment here.
I think you have made some wrong assumptions.

She-messenger said:
I disagree with the three of you. Are things sold as seen on Ebay?
Yes he's a private seller

She-messenger said:
Do you not entrust the person who is selling to give an honest and thorough account of the item?
He did, to his knowledge there were no faults with the amplifier

She-messenger said:
Since it’s clear that the chap intended to bi-wire this amp your description clearly didn’t state that it was not suitable for this purpose otherwise the chap wouldn’t have bought it – he bought in good faith and I can understand that he contacted you.
What are you talking about, there is no mention of bi-wiring.

She-messenger said:
If I were the seller in this situation I would feel responsible for not checking the item thoroughly before selling and I would offer a refund – (7 months or 7 days later) you have to take some responsibility here.
No, sold as seen and described. The only warranty is working on receipt.

She-messenger said:
Stop tittle tattling – basing your response to this chap on the opinion of a few isn’t very gracious.
He's not its just common sense.
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
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She-messenger said:
Firstly I can’t believe what I have read and have joined especially to add comment here.

I disagree with the three of you. Are things sold as seen on Ebay?
Yes.

Do you not entrust the person who is selling to give an honest and thorough account of the item?
And he has, most people won't open up an amp to inspect the internals before selling it and I don't think it's reasonable for an "amateur" to be expected to do so (it may cause damage for a start). Furthermore this is an OLD amp, it cannot be considered to be "as good as new" so it is expected that faults will develop as it ages. Provided ESP didn't list it as "new" there is nothing more he could have done.

Since it’s clear that the chap intended to bi-wire this amp your description clearly didn’t state that it was not suitable for this purpose otherwise the chap wouldn’t have bought it
Sorry, I've no idea where you're getting this idea from, nobody on this thread has mentioned bi-wiring (which is something you do to speakers incidentally, not amps) and from reading the description it's the INPUTS that are failing, not the outputs, so I don't know where this comment is coming from. *Deerstalker ON* Unless, of course, YOU are the buyer...

If I were the seller in this situation I would feel responsible for not checking the item thoroughly before selling and I would offer a refund – (7 months or 7 days later) you have to take some responsibility here.
Rubbish, 7 days later yes, but 7 months is a LONG time. Clearly the amp must have been working when the buyer took delivery of it, otherwise he would have said something then, the fact he didn't means it must have been ok until recently. Despite what ESP said he's got no idea how the buyer may have treated the item, he could easily have put some kind of chemical cleaner on it which has caused this damage and is no epecting someone else to carry the can for his mistake. As I said earlier if he'd bought it secondhand from a dealer he'd have got a 3 month warranty, 6 at the most, in which case even the dealer wouldn't refund his money, so why a private seller should be expected to I really don't know. Where do you the draw the line? If this had happened 7 years later would you still be expecting the seller to take responsibility?

Sorry but Ebay is entirely "Caveat Emptor", I don't see that ESP could have done anything more than he has and now he's facing having to pay to send it back to the buyer!
 

hoopsontoast

New member
Oct 1, 2011
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She-messenger said:
Firstly I can’t believe what I have read and have joined especially to add comment here.

I disagree with the three of you. Are things sold as seen on Ebay? Do you not entrust the person who is selling to give an honest and thorough account of the item? Since it’s clear that the chap intended to bi-wire this amp your description clearly didn’t state that it was not suitable for this purpose otherwise the chap wouldn’t have bought it – he bought in good faith and I can understand that he contacted you.

If I were the seller in this situation I would feel responsible for not checking the item thoroughly before selling and I would offer a refund – (7 months or 7 days later) you have to take some responsibility here.

Stop tittle tattling – basing your response to this chap on the opinion of a few isn’t very gracious.
Do you happen to be the aforementioned buyer? :?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
She-messenger said:
Are things sold as seen on Ebay? Do you not entrust the person who is selling to give an honest and thorough account of the item?
Yes they are sold as seen, at the time they are sold, not 7 months down the line! Whether an amp is to be used for bi-wiring (or bi-amping) makes no difference to the amp.

Another give away that you're the buyer is that this is your only post. I wonder if She-Messenger is actually someone else who regularly visits this forum.

The amp is 20 years old, the buyer knows its an old amp, and the damage that has occured is just a result of its old age. He/she needs to get over it, and stop taking advantage of someone elses uber good morales.
 

ESP2009

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Feb 16, 2009
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Crikey folks! I just dropped by to deliver an update and find WW3 has broken out! :O

I doubt that the opinionated and misinformed individual who joined just to make the point is the buyer. The chap who did buy the amp has been very reasonable. I don't blame him at all for asking the question in the first place, and he has not pushed it. I have offered to help and he accepted the level of assistance I was prepared to offer. My thanks to the other members of the forum for springing to my defence. I did, indeed, sell the amp in good faith - why should I sacrifice a 100% reputation as an Fleabay buyer/seller? The fact that there is a problem with the amp, even 7 months on, was a shock and very disappointing to me as a seller who prides himself on being fair and treating others as he would hope they would treat him - honestly.

Anyway, the amp has now gone to Kevin at The AudioCellar - my buyer has decided it is worth having it checked out by someone who knows what they are doing and who comes highly recommended. No, I didn't have to do what I did, but I do feel some sense of responsibility and I also want the Audiolab to have a chance of a longer useful life. Yes, I'm a big softy! :)

I look forward to hearing how things progress...

As for She-messenger: reality check matey, I would hate to sell anything to you! :poke:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hello.

Don't have time to read all the posts so this may have been covered.

Been looking at pre-tag kit and found this.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUDIOLAB-TAG-MCLAREN-GOLD-PLATED-QUAD-RCA-CONNECTORS-/330688240745?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfe8e1c69
 

ESP2009

New member
Feb 16, 2009
177
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Thanks for the eBay info. It might be a bit late for this particular issue, but might help others in future (assuming they have access to the skills to install those jobbies - I certainly don't!) I trust that Kevin at The AudioCellar has premium quality replacement parts that don't break the bank.
 

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